310 Pages
English
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Communication and Colonialism in Eastern India

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310 Pages
English

Description

A detailed analysis of the way communication became an integral part of colonial governance in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century India.


Through a regional focus on Bihar between the 1760s and 1880s, ‘Communication and Colonialism in Eastern India’ reveals the shifting and contradictory nature of the colonial state’s policies and discourses on communication. The volume explores the changing relationship between trade, transport and mobility in India, as evident in the trading and mercantile networks operating at various scales of the economy. Of crucial importance to this study are the ways in which knowledge about roads and routes was collected through practices of travel, tours, surveys, and map-making, all of which benefited the state in its attempts to structure a regime that would regulate ‘undesirable’ forms of mobility.


Abbreviations; List of Illustrations; Introduction; Chapter 1. From Affective Forms to Objectification: Spatial Transition from Pre-colonial to Colonial Times; Chapter 2. India and its Interiors; Chapter 3. Going into the Interiors; Chapter 4. Knowing the Ways; Chapter 5. Controlling the Routes; Chapter 6. Changing Regime of Communication, 1820s–60s; Chapter 7. Of Men and Commodities; Chapter 8. The Wheels of Change; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index

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Published 01 September 2012
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EAN13 9780857289094
Language English
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Communication and Colonialism in Eastern India
Communication and Colonialism in Eastern India
Bihar, 1760s–1880s
Nitin Sinha
Anthem Press An imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company www.anthempress.com
This edition first published in UK and USA 2012 by ANTHEM PRESS 7576 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK and 244 Madison Ave. #116, New York, NY 10016, USA
Copyright © Nitin Sinha 2012
The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work. All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
British Library CataloguinginPublication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Library of Congress CataloginginPublication Data Sinha, Nitin. Communication and colonialism in Eastern India : Bihar, 1760s1880s / Nitin Sinha. p. cm. Revision of the author’s thesis (doctoral)–School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 2007. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 9780857284488 (hardback : alk. paper) 1. Communication and traffic–India–Bihar–History. 2. Communication and traffic–Great Britain–Colonies–History. 3. Great Britain–Colonies–Administration–History–18th century. 4. Great Britain–Colonies–Administration–History–19th century. I. Title. HE271.Z7.B55S56 2012 384.0954’12309034–dc23 2012025597
ISBN13: 978 0 85728 448 8 (Hbk) ISBN10: 0 85728 448 7 (Hbk)
This title is also available as an eBook.
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Glossary
List of Tables and Illustrations
Introduction
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
CONTENTS
FromAffectiveFormstoObjectication:SpatialTransition from Precolonial to Colonial Times
India and its Interiors
Going into the Interiors
Knowing the Ways
Controlling the Routes
Changing Regime of Communication, 1820s–60s
Of Men and Commodities
The Wheels of Change
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This book is an outcome of my doctoral thesis completed at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London in 2007. All those who are duly acknowledged in my thesis, therefore, remain acknowledged here also. In particular, I would like to say thanks toB. R. (Tom) Tomlinson, Peter Robb, Daud Ali and David Arnold for their support, guidance and encouragement. Ian J. Kerr has been generous enough to not only read the different versions of the chapters but the whole manuscript. His comments and criticisms proved the most valuable. Through his suggestions and writings, Ravi Ahuja has unknowingly influenced this work in various ways. I am also thankful to Tirthankar Roy and David Washbrook for their role as ‘examiners’ to my thesis, and the set of helpful suggestions they offered. The anonymous review organized by Anthem reinforced my belief in the utility of this work for the South Asian historiography. For specific chapters I often relied on inputs provided in person or over email by a range of scholars, some of which I feel glad in mentioning here (any omissions due to lack of memory is purely unintentional): Muzaffar Alam, Sunil Kumar, Matthew Edney, Kapil Raj, Neeladri Bhattacharya, Chitra Joshi and Radhika Singha. The thesis was revised into a manuscript at my current work place, the Zentrum Moderner Orient (Centre for Modern Oriental Studies), Berlin. The intellectual milieu of the Zentrum with its engaging group discussions and activities gave me adequate space to put forward some of the new ideas to colleagues and friends working in disciplines other than history and on regions other than South Asia. I am thankful to all of them who offered suggestions and comments. In particular, I would like to say thanks to Heike Liebau, Kai Kresse, Marloes Janson and Katharina Lange for their feedback on certain sections of the book; to Ulrike Freitag, Katrin Bromber, Silke Nagel, Svenja Becherer, Michael Schutz and Thomas Ripper for providing unflinching support, institutional and otherwise; and to Hana Gunkel and Doreen Teumer for filling me in with my last minute requests of books and photocopies from different libraries in Berlin. I am also thankful to Manuela Ciotti for giving her comments on a preliminary version of introduction.A big thanks is reserved for Jolita Zabarskaite without whose help and promptness this book would have taken a much longer time to finish than it did. Christoph Zelke’s technical support with maps and plates saved me a lot of time and frustration that I would have otherwise gone through! I am earnestly thankful to Nilanjan Sarkar’s friendship and his help in understanding the ‘veiled’ world of publishing. Most of the primary sources used in this book have come from the British Library (maps, rare books and Asia and Africa collections), SOAS Library, Bihar State Archives,
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COMMUNICATION AND COLONIALISM IN EASTERN INDIA
Record Room of Water Resource Department, Patna, National Archives of India and Khuda Baksh Library. I am thankful to all the people at these places who helped with my research; in particular to the British Library for giving permission to reproduce sketches and paintings. Chapter 5 is a revised version of an article published inIndian Economic and Social History Reviewin January 2008; I am grateful to the the journal editor for letting me reuse it here. Some of my friends, not only through their ability to discuss passionately on and beyond history but also through their warmth, help and humour, have made research more pleasurable, and life more enjoyable. Kalyan and Projit’s friendship is most cherished in this regard. ‘Bihar’ in all its seriousness and ironies has remained a favourite topic of discussion with Prabhat and Nitin. Marloes’s firm friendship made my life a lot easier in Berlin. Maria’s intellectual support, warmth and special friendship has made work and life very exciting. Support and encouragement from Anthem Press, in particular from Tej Sood and Janka Romero is highly appreciated. Working with Elizabeth Stone, my copyeditor, was fun and an enriching learning experience. I am once again thankful to ZMO for its financial support in letting me undertake the much needed research trips to London and India that substantially helped in revising the thesis into manuscript. This book is dedicated to my parents, Devendra Mohan Sinha and Neena Sinha. This earnest dedication should make it clear that I lack formal vocabulary (in my second language) to thank them enough for all they have done for me so far. I am equally pleased to say thanks to mydidi,bhaiyaandjijajifor never stopping the youngest member of the family from getting undue affection.
AAC AARAARBABSP AGS AIA AJ AMP APS AR BCBcl BCJCBPPBRBRCCBSA CEHICR CSSH CTA EIC EIR EIRC FFC GB GISNC GJGOB GOI GORGSI GSNC GTR GWBRC
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Asia and Africa Collections Asiatic Annual Register Annual Report on the Administration of the Bengal Presidency Hunter’s Account of Bhaghalpur and Santhal Pargana Hunter’s Account of Gaya and Shahabad Annals of Indian Administration Asiatic Journal Hunter’s Account of Monghyr and Purniah Hunter’s Account of Patna and Saran Asiatic Researches Bentinck correspondence Board of Control Bengal Criminal and Judicial Consultations Bengal Past and Present Bhagalpur Records, ed. Datta Bengal Revenue Council Consultations Bihar State Archives Cambridge Economic History of India Calcutta Review Comparative Studies in Society and History Criminal Tribes Act East India Company East India Railway East Indian Railway Company Ferry Fund Committee General Branch General Inland Steam Navigation Company Geographical Journal Government of Bengal Government of India Gaya Old Records Geological Survey of India Ganges Steam Navigation Company Grand Trunk Road Great Western and Bengal Railway Company
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HRIESHRIOR JASB JBORSJESHOJSSLJRGS MASMHJNMR MORNAI NWP P&D PCRSPRPWDPWD QMG RCERBP RRWRD SDSE SIHSORSSUP URG
COMMUNICATION AND COLONIALISM IN EASTERN INDIA
Historical Records Indian Economic and Social History Review India Office Records Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Journal of Bihar and Orissa Research Society Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient Journal of the Statistical Society of London Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London Modern Asian Studies Medieval History Journal New Military Road Muzaffarpur Old Records National Archives of India NorthWestern Provinces Prints and Drawings, British Library Patna Commissioner Record Series Progress Report of the Public Works Department Public Works Department quartermaster general Report by the Chief Engineer Railway Bengal Proceedings Record Room of the Water Resource Department Select Documents superintending engineer Studies in History Singhbhum Old Records Social Scientist United Provinces unpublished record of the government